Week four of the high school football season was a wild one for Analy and El Molino teams, locking horns with opponents in a pair of high scoring donnybrooks.
The Lions went toe to toe with visiting St. Vincent, forging a 35-35 tie, while the Tigers raced to a 35-0 halftime lead at Healdsburg before settling for a 42-22 rout.
Analy (2-1) will wrap-up the spring campaign this Friday, April 16 when they host Ukiah in a 7 p.m. varsity kickoff. The Lions (2-1-1) had hoped to play one more game but are likely done for the season.
“Unfortunately, I got a text Saturday morning from our opponent saying they had to pull out of next Friday's game due to low numbers in their program,” El Mo head coach Jared Brown said. “I told our kids all season that we had to play each game like it was the last (because of COVID), but I really thought we'd get one more. I feel crushed for the kids.”
Lions in slugfest
El Mo’s clash with St. Vincent was about as wild as they come, with the teams engaging in a see-saw battle that failed to produce a winner.
The Lions jumped out to a big first quarter lead, only to see the Mustangs storm back in the second period to cut the deficit to 21-19 at the half.
El Mo extended the advantage to 28-19 after three quarters but had no answer for St. Vincent running back Kai Hall, who amassed 225 rushing yards. The Mustangs would complete their comeback in the fourth quarter with the teams knotted at 35-apeice and no time left on the clock.
In any other season the game would have moved to overtime, but this is a year unlike any other.
“I walked out to speak with the refs to figure out exactly how overtime goes and was told that because there aren't any playoffs, etc., there wasn't a need to play and they didn't want to get kids hurt,” Brown said. “If that's the last game ever at El Molino, I'm happy it was a good one, but I would've liked it to end a little bit differently.”
As for the season and the specter of school consolidation looming in the west county, it was a tough way to end what could be the final year for the El Molino football program.
“I know it wasn't a loss, but the outcome of the game almost leaves us all without a sense of closure on any of this and that’s difficult to grapple with,” Brown noted. “If the season is over, I'm proud of how we did. The goal all along was to provide something for these students and we weren't ever concerned with the wins or losses. I'm grateful for the support of our administration, the staff, community and families. This really was an all-hands-on-deck effort.”
Senior quarterback Wes Lewis completed a tremendous high school career, completing 12 of 19 pass attempts for 231 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for another 128 yards and another two scores. The durable Lewis will be remembered as part of an elite group of El Mo quarterbacks to lead his team to two Golden Apple Bowl wins.
Other offensive standouts against St. Vincent were Tyler Sword (1-14 yards rushing), DJ Ramalia (10 yards rushing), Ian Hocheder (11-192 yards receiving, 2 TDs), Jackson Dunkle (2-19 yards receiving) and Soloman Hall (1-44 yards receiving).
Leading defenders were Dunkle (2 tackles, 8 assists), Erik Dimond (1 tackle, 7 assists, sack), Dylan Dekker (1 tackle 8 assists) and Soul Berna (3 assists, INT).
Tigers claw Greyhounds
Analy unleashed its high octane, quick strike offensive attack against an overmatched Healdsburg squad on Friday, taking full advantage of every scoring opportunity to put points on the board early.
Senior quarterback Jake Acosta got the party started in the first quarter, directing a drive resulting in a 12-yard touchdown run by Kole Hunter for a 6-0 lead. The Tigers busted the game wide open in an explosive second period, starting with a 10-yard scoring pass from Acosta to Dylan Peterson. Analy would go on to score four more times before the half — including a 16-yard pass play to William Koenig, a 55-yard touchdown strike to Sebastian Meechan and another 12-yard scoring pass to Koenig — for a 35-0 lead at the break.
With a huge lead, the Tigers took their foot off the gas in the final two quarters. The Hounds scored three times after intermission but the Tigers would coast to a 42-22 rout.
Acosta finished up a great night with 241 yards passing and four touchdowns. Also finding the end zone were Meechan (2 TDs receiving), Koenig (2 TDs receiving) and Hunter (2 TDs rushing). The Analy offense out-gained Healdsburg in total yardage, 464-106.